A Review: John Pearson’s The Profession Of Violence

July 2, 2017

A Review: John Pearson’s

The Profession Of Violence

by

R.E. Prindle

Pearson

John Pearson

 

Pearson, John: The Profession of Violence, The inside story of the twin brothers who ruled the London underworld. 1973, The Saturday Review Press.

Let us say the inspiration for this essay is John Pearson’s 1973 book. My struggle is trying to put the post war period together especially the contribution of England that so influenced the course of the Sixties in the US after 1964. I think I can use Pearson’s The Profession of Violence as a base.

The criminal Kray Twins are the subject of Pearson’s biography during the period 1956 to 1968. No one in England, except for recent immigrants, will have to ask who the Krays were while the vast majority of Americans and Canadians as well as Mexicans will draw a blank.

Krays

David Bailey’s Portrait of Ronnie (front) and Reggie Kray

 

Quite simply the Krays- Ronnie and Reggie- were the most fearsome villains in England of the period. The English refer to their mobsters as villains and truly there was no English Mafia, just a collection of villains under the hegemony of the Krays. Their notoriety was such that at the height of Swinging London the fashion photographer David Bailey issued a portfolio of photos of England’s scene makers which included the villains Ronnie and Reggie Kray. David Bailey, who is the subject of Fellini’s movie Blow Up was more influential than one might suppose. The Krays were, as Bailey recognized, in many ways the epitome of Swinging England; they were mixed into many things. Their career coincided with the birth of the Sixties and ended in 1968 when they were returned to prison for life thus ending their spectacular career.

David Bailey was criticized for including mere villains in his portfolio, but in fact the Krays made themselves members of the scene as surely as Bailey, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Mary Quant, Twiggy and the rest. The Krays were on their way to acquiring control of the whole record business when the law brought them down.

Really, then, the Krays are part of the generation that spent their youthful years during the Second World War under very harsh living conditions from the War’s end through the Fifties and still into, at least, the early part of the Sixties.

It is difficult to accurately recreate the effect of the destructive war years on post-war Europe and England. France and England were mad to involve themselves in Hitler’s crusade against the Soviet Union except as enablers. The crimes against humanity, the offences against sanity are indescribable. The agony of Russia, horrible conditions of a Germany actually bombed flat and the genocide against them that followed, Northern France shredded by the march of armies more devastating than a sky filled with locusts, swatches of England bombed flat while the cream of their manhood left over from WWI was destroyed by WWII leaving nations with inferior human resources while hordes of women were condemned to live their lives without men.

And the youth, what desperation they faced growing up, what stunted bodies caused by the lack of nutrition, of nearly a full decade on short rations. Strict rationing while a Black Market flourished creating whole new social classes of semi-criminal spivs and wide boys. And to add insult to injury a compulsive National Service of two years just as they were coming were coming into manhood. Not a draft of the less fortunate men as in the US but the whole male population.

When National Service ended in 1960 that whole generation born in from 1938 to 1945 were released from the indignities suffered all their lives. Is it any wonder that the early Sixties in England were characterized as the Swinging Sixties as exuberance burst out all over the place. Release, release, release.

Even in the depths of their desperation a light crossed the ocean from the US in the character of Elvis Presley. Hope in human form. Just as Elvis gave hope to the same age cohort in the US the light of Elvis showed the way for English youth. Music was the path for poor boys to follow to prosperity. Naturally the results weren’t even but neither was the talent.

Those that succeeded had parties where the Groaning Board was truly groaning with all the really good delicacies the earth provided. Strangely the table was just for show. To take vengeance on the deprivation of those early years that generation turned up their noses at all that food, refused to eat it, and it went into the garbage. How many other neuroses and psychoses of those years have had their sources gone unrecognized.

So, the Krays coming into early manhood rose from their difficult conditions, not to mention their origins. They were from the notorious East End, Bethnal Green, a desperate area since Victorian times. It was one of the most heavily bombed areas of London. Ronnie Kray was a certified lunatic, as psychotic as they come. While twin Brother Reggie lived out his life in prison, Ronnie was in an asylum such as Colney Hatch.

Colney Hatch was a legendary asylum of the Victorian era. Its name was legendary in my youth. It was always pronounced Coney Hatch so while in England in 1976 I found myself driving on a street in London where upon looking right I saw a sign saying Colney Hatch. There it was, the legendary insane asylum. Colney, not Coney. Ronnie wasn’t there he was somewhere else.

Thus Ronnie was nuts, his brain probably affected by a serious fever in his childhood, while he exerted a compelling influence over his twin dragging him into infamy as it is told. The old generation of villains was on the way out by the mid-fifties, the Krays barging into the void to establish their hegemony.

Just as the cadre of 1942-43 wanted to indulge themselves so did the returning soldiers and those that stayed behind. There was also a fluttering between socialism and Adam Smith economics, sometimes referred to as Capitalism, the name that is more a Communist smear that disguises its true nature. And the rebuilding of thousands of London’s leveled areas.

It was a time. Not the very worst of times, but not the best either. It was depressing whatever the time was. Is it a coincidence that British youth embraced the US Negro blues as their musical expression? I don’t think so.

As David Bailey, the fashion photographer, recognized, the Krays were not mere villains. They emerged from the underworld into the Twilight World between the Under and Overworld just Over world players like Lord Boothby descended into the Twilight world with the Krays. Caught up into the Twilight World was the whole music industry. It is bonding of these three worlds, the Under, Over and Twilight worlds that this essay is really about.

As might be expected this volatile mix was bound to explode and explode it did in 1963 in what was called the Profumo Affair. If anything the Affair exposed the sexual underside of London society. But not completely . There was a homosexual underside involving the three worlds and ones of which the Krays or at least Ronnie was central. And this homosexual underside extended almost universally into the music business.

A little more background. Gambling had been illegal in England until that magic year of 1960. In that magic year England legalized gambling. This Act alone probably did more to create the Twilight World than any other. Now clubs were established that brought the Under and Over Worlds together, shoulder to shoulder. Now Ronnie and Reggie felt themselves to be elevated, rubbing shoulders with the Old Nobility, the Upper Crust, the cream of London society.

Lots of people gambled and gambled stupidly. Prominent for this essay are gamblers like Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles and the premier art dealer of the period, Groovy Bob Fraser. And binding the whole thing together like a taut rubber band, drugs. Heroin, cocaine, pot and the whole pharmacopeia. Uppers and downers. Society had found the perfect brew to corrupt it completely. Sex, drugs and gambling. A soul destroying combination. A descent into hell. And was this a coincidence? What should appear at the same time but a nascent Satanism to give definition to the emerging Weltanschauung.

Criminals always go where the money is, one place the money seemed to be was in the music and recording industry. Rock and roll, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Donovan. For younger readers the music world was a different place than today. It was much smaller with minimal presence on TV and no videos. Hits were not instantaneous world wide but took weeks to get started in a key market like New York or LA and cross country. London was a separate market just emerging on the larger global stage. Much of the English repertoire originated in the US and was then recorded by British artists.

After the Beatles hit in the US in 1964 Swinging London furnished the world with its premier rock groups, those already mentioned, The Yardbirds, the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, on the list grows. Many of these groups were clustered around single managers thus if you co-opted a manager a gaggle of groups came with him.

I wasn’t in the record business in the first surge of English rock but I was by the second from 1967 on. I owned significant record stores in Eugene and Portland Oregon. Not world centers but its not what you do but how you do it. I did it. It’s not what you see but how you see it. I saw it. I never left the Overworld and I never entered the Twilight World but I was positioned to see over the dividers. I had to deal with Twilight Worlders and brushed against Underworlders.

John Pearson who only provides a base for the essay doesn’t touch on many activities of the Krays. I’m not sure he wanted to deal with the Krays but as the saying goes, they made an offer…. At any rate Pearson soon realized that he was in deep dangerous waters. He was learning things he didn’t want to know. The Krays took him on in 1967 as the first Sixties were in transition to the second Sixties. In 1968 the Krays would be behind bars for good. The Krays are said to have been calling the shots from prison still while Over/Twilight world characters such as the homosexuals Tom Driberg and Lord Boothby were still around and were not less dangerous than the Krays in their own way. Pearson trimmed his wick accordingly. Little is said of Boothby and nothing about the homosexual Twilight World. That would be coming out later.

Homosexuality and Rock and Roll. Did you ever see Mick Jagger prance or mount his forty foot inflatable penis on stage in front of tens of thousands people? There’s story here.

2.

So, now, we’re going to have to take an excursion. It is rather difficult to locate an entry point here but I’m going to select a much overlooked player by the name of Spanish Tony Sanchez. Tony may not be an unfamiliar name to most, perhaps, while those that know the name may not know the man bearing it or are perhaps hostile because of Tony’s realistic if unflattering books about the Stones: Up And Down With The Rolling Stones and I Was Keith Richard’s Drug Dealer. The latter is a variation of the former adding material but not a different book. Tony also had a relationship with the chanteuse Marianne Faithfull. Altogether he is a unifying factor in the story.

Tony as a teenager was fascinated by the Underworld, so he decided to become a villain. Naturally he took an entry level job at one of the clubs as a protégé of Albert Dimes, a villain from the old guard. While sitting around a bar before work one day he struck up a conversation with the rising art dealer, Robert Fraser. Known as Groovy Bob Fraser, he was more well known than Tony while also being an influential player. Fraser apprenticed in the art world in the NYC of Andy Warhol. For those not familiar with Warhol, and believe me, there are many, he was the foremost Pop artist of the Sixties and the most renowned of that group. Fraser then joined the Pop movement introducing Pop art to England upon his return in 1962.

As he and Tony talked at the bar, conversation turned, as they did at that time, to drugs. Seeing an opening Tony related that he had access to drugs, heroin being Fraser’s drug of choice, and could supply as much as was needed. There is no friendship so fast as that between a dealer and his addict. Tony and Bob became fast friends.

Groovy Bob Fraser ran a sort of musical salon. His art dealings were an entrée into the rock scene. He began to provide artworks to Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Having established that connection while being able to supply drugs, at a profit of course, to his circle of rockers his circle of rockers grew. When Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was drawn into his circle he tried to sell him art works too. While Mick was wary of investing in art he and the Stones as a group were just coming on so Mick really didn’t have the money, but he did have money for drugs. One doesn’t put off buying drugs just because the funds are low. Groovy Bob had ins with the rock community.

He was not only an addict, but a homosexual and not only that but a gambler; three of the most potent human failures.

Now, in 1960 England legalized gambling. The Krays were attracted to gambling as easy money. Through a questionable chain of circumstances, they were criminals, an early period ramshackle gambling club called Esmeralda’s Barn found a way into the Krays’ hands. If you see pictures of Esmeralda’s Barn it is less than appealing compared even to the Vegas of the time or London clubs as they became. As shabby as it was it was the no. 1 club.

Of course, Groovy Bob could be found trying to find his groove at the tables. I don’t know why they call it gambling because it is a sure bet that you lose. Insuperable odds are against you. Oh, sure the odds are that a player can have a hot streak and win but it is a certainty that if you begin with a certain amount it must diminish to nothing.

With Bob’s luck he ran in negative numbers hoping to make two negatives a positive as by some miracle they do on paper. Bob wrote paper backed by nothing. As was inevitable in those circumstances the Krays were holding a lot of Bob’s worthless paper. Now the circle enlarges. Spanish Tony believing himself to be a villain of some worth offered to intercede for friend Bob with the notorious villains Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Here’s why Pearson titles his book The Profession of Violence. Ronnie was famous for the stunt of forcing a sword crosswise into the mouth of a man called David Litvinoff giving him a permanent rictus sardonicus. They dangled men out windows of tall buildings by their ankles, unpredictable fellows, or predictable, depending on how you looked at it.

Tony entered this lion’s den, still an apprentice villain, and came out smiling believing he had worked out a deal. The deal involved making a percentage of the checks good but that involved having money so the ever wily Groovy bob continued to be evasive. No, no, don’t get up for a potty run this is just getting good.

Pearson probably had good reasons for leaving this sort of stuff out of the book. On the one hand he may not have known about it and on the other he may not have thought it important. While as with the subject of Lord Boothby that we’ll leave for later, he may have thought it expedient to maintain a discreet silence.

One of the Krays many ‘business’ ventures was the protection racket that was working out pretty well for them. They had a deal with the US Mafia that when Mob artists such as Judy Garland or Johnny Ray were visiting England the Kays provided protection for them. The American mob had their claws into a large stable of entertainers. They suggested that maybe the Krays might find that lucrative in England. The Krays did think it would be lucrative and acting on somewhat less than the spur of the moment went about trying to take over the rock and roll scene.

The Krays could not operate above ground as they had felony convictions and so were unable to obtain licenses; however, older brother Charlie Kray who had a clean record could. So they kept Charlie clean and recruited an old Bethnal Green chum Laurie O’ Leary to run clubs. They made their move. As part of their move they conceived the notion of taking over the Beatles from Brian Epstein.

This may sound far fetched at first, but consider: Epstein had all three knocks against him. He was a homosexual, a druggie, and a gambler who played Esmeralda’s Barn. He was fair game. The Krays had been advised by wiser heads than theirs to forget attempting he Beatles. There were numerous good reasons why it was ill advised but, knock, knock, knock, the Krays had all three against themselves too.

So, disregarding all the negatives the Krays went ahead. First they called in Spanish Tony because they knew that Groovy Bob had an in with McCartney and that meant the Beatles. They made a deal through Tony that Fraser’s debts would be forgiven if he could reel the Beatles in.

One objection that had been raised to them by the wisest criminal head in the British Isles was that above ground businesses were much more difficult businesses to run than knock ‘em on the head criminal businesses. The devil was in the details.

Having Charlie and Laurie O’ Leary above ground Ronnie and Reggie thought they had that angle covered.

I think Groovy Bob was trying the delicate job of bringing the Beatles in but deciding the proper course of action was interpreted as procrastination by the Krays so they decided on more direct action. They called Brian Epstein for a sit down to discuss transferring title to them.

Well, you know, things that seem so simple when you don’t have all the facts can get pretty complicated. The truth of the matter is that Brian ‘Knock Three Times’ Epstein had bitten off more than he could chew.

It seems certain that neither Epstein or even anyone in the English record industry could have imagined that the Beatles would ever become the worldwide phenomenon that they did. Heck, they were the first of the kind. The Beatles opened the door but I doubt any group since has captured the hearts and minds of all but a few the way they did. Their Sgt. Peppers album issued in the summer of 1967 became a core strut in the psyche of more than one generation that summer. I would rate it as the most influential pop icon of all time. Today they are even celebrating the fiftieth year since its release with all kinds of hoopla.

It is doubtful that Epstein even imagined success on an English scale of any magnitude. In all likelihood he had a crush on John Lennon as Brian was a homosexual. All the aspiring musicians wanted to have a record released, a record…the Holy Grail and not that hard to obtain. Having met Lennon and learned that that was John’s grail Epstein signed the unheard of group from the English backwater town of Liverpool and then went to London to see if he could get a 45 rpm pressed. Albums weren’t that big at that time.

Now, consider, the Beatles had no reputation outside Liverpool. Was it wishful thinking, invincible hope, that Epstein actually thought he was going to get a record label to sign this bunch of boisterous unknowns to a contract? It just isn’t that easy. But Brian who ran the NEMS record store in Liverpool was a big account so maybe that opened the door. You know, it’s not that big a deal to humor an account, do it, and then he’ll go away.

One imagines that Brian’s thinking was that John gets his record as a present and then Brian would proposition him. There are reports that Brian was successful in this wish. One can imagine his and the label’s eyes popping wide when the Beatles hit and big in England. Recreating the push in the US seemed more than difficult, English groups and rockers had had no future in the US . They just didn’t have it. Tommy Steele, a big thing before the Beatles in England didn’t even make a sound when he flopped in the US.

When the Beatles were going to try the US it was a forgone conclusion that there was no hope that they would succeed. Indeed, before their arrival in the US an album full of songs on Veejay, a nondescript label, was completely ignored. The EMI subsidiary in the US, Capitol Records, had refused the album. Nineteen sixty-four was apparently their destiny and the result was like tornadoes and a hurricane converging. They owned the airwaves with the same songs that had been rejected on Veejay.

Epstein has been derided for not being adept enough to take full advantage of the situation. Caught in the perfect storm in his little canoe, what could he do? He had no experience outside Liverpool, a mere babe in the woods not only in London but the whole world. How could he navigate without a compass? Who was there that could guide him? No one in the world was any more prepared than he.

The result was a tragi-comedy. As fate would have it not only were the Beatles the performers of the century but Lennon and McCartney were the songwriters of the century. They turned out songs by the ream. Epstein signed a bunch of non-descript performers, supplied them with Lennon & McCartney songs and they all had hits. Epstein seemed like a genius but he was only a lucky bum.

And what did it get him? He was sitting across from the two biggest villains in England, murderers, demanding he give them the Beatles.

Well, they didn’t know what Epstein knew. He had gambled away his own money as well as a large chunk of the Beatles. His control would expire in a few months and he feared the Beatles wouldn’t resign at which point he would be in ruins. Brian Epstein did not have an ace in the hole.

The Krays, their blood up, couldn’t understand that NO was a one syllable word. They called Brian in for another tete a tete. We don’t know what was said. What we do know is that Brian drove straight home, locked himself in his room and was found dead the next morning. Whatever was said in the face to face it prevented Brian from imagining a tomorrow.

-3-

How to get the context right? In the course of their careers the Krays in a limited manner were integrated into the Twilight World between the Underworld and the Overworld. The Profumo Affair, mentioned before was only a tip of the iceberg. The whole iceberg might be represented by the rise of Satanism which by the early Sixties was slowly surfacing. The basis of the Satanism was the former leader of the cult The Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley. Crowley died in 1947. His cult grew.

His cult was based on sex magic which aligned him with Freud and Freud’s acolyte the sex magician, Wilhelm Reich. Thus during the Fifties and into Sixties this threesome exerted a powerful influence on sexual mores. Thus, from about the year 1900 Crowley’s ideas and practices, joined by those of Freud and Reich, were slowly filtering into English society corroding the Godly morality into the Satanic. The manipulation is represented in many ways. A transition point from the Godly religion to the Satanic religion happened in 1966. In that year Time magazine in the US published an issue with the cover asking the question, Is God Dead? The answer of course was Yes. This caused a short uproar from the Christians which was probably suppressed. Unnoticed for what it was was a novel titled Rosemary’s Baby published in the same year followed by a movie version in the next year in which Rosemary gave birth to the Son of Satan, little Andy. Thus, the symbolic transfer from the Godly to the Satanic was effected. It is no coincidence that the Manson Affair took place in 1969 in Los Angeles.

It may be a coincidence but the Sgt. Pepper’s LP of the Beatles was released in 1967 with its cover that amazed the world. The cover has been a topic of conversation ever since, now fifty years later. Now the instigator for the design of the cover was Groovy Bob Fraser who was at time under pressure from the Krays to deliver the Beatles to them.

The hard work was done by two other artists, Peter Blake and Jill Haworth with possible input from McCartney. The cover is open to interpretation and been interpreted in different ways, none very satisfactory. I have little knowledge of a correct reading of the cover and offer this as a mere possibility, maybe unconscious on the part or the artists but this interpretation fits the social conditions of the times as well.

The official explanation is that it is an allegory for the Beatles’ transition from the Mop Tops to a serious R&R band. This is certainly valid. The cover shows the Beatles as dead and buried along with their ghosts looking on standing to the left of their reincarnation as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Still, as there is also a transition from the Godly to the Satanic the scene might also be read as the death of God, as the Beatles are in somber colors and the birth of Satan in the gaudy colors and bizarre outfits of Sgt. Pepper’s. Remember the album was released in 1967 after the Time cover, the book Rosemary’s Baby and more or less simultaneously with Roman Polansky’s movie version.

Filling the rest of the cover is a gallery of 70 historical figures. While these are supposed to represent the Beatles’ close influences actually only 20 some were recommended by the Beatles while one of Lennon’s choices, Adolf Hitler, was rejected. That means that the rest of the pictures were chosen by Groovy Bob and the artists Peter Blake and Jill Haworth, with possible input by others. If one examines the carefully they make the major influences of the English mind of the generation with generous overlap to the US.

At the left top of the cover, overlooking the assemblage, is the dominating face of Aleister Crowley. So, an immediate connection with Satanism is made. Running through the photos and their portrayals a rather dark influence on the mind of the generation is indicated.

This is perhaps to be expected given the youthful experiences of the generation. It comes clearer why the English musicians chose the Negro blues as their means of expressing their psyches. Their psyches were borne down by the sorrows of the Forties and Fifties. Remember the generation only began expressing itself at the end of the Fifties and the beginning of the Sixties. Both the Fifties and the Sixties are sacred decades.

While the Beatles began as chirpers they rapidly turned dark and brooding. And that in such a manner that Charles Manson is said by some to be their disciple. Emerging just behind them were the Rolling Stones, a truly dark and nasty group that openly embraced Satanism. They also passed through Groovy Bob’s Academy of Darkness. Here they especially came into contact with avatars of darkness.

As noted Bob Fraser spent the first couple of years in NYC learning his trade. He met another avatar of darkness there, Andy Warhol. Into the group came the founder of the US Church of Satan, Anton La Vey from San Francisco. Also inducted into Satanism in a serious way was the Angel of the Hipsters, Marianne Faithfull. She would be a sort of guide for her paramour Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.

Let us leave the Fraser crowd for a while and return to the Krays who would become involved with the Fraser set. While the Twilight World of the hipster underground was becoming enmeshed in the toils of Satanism, the ideology also influenced the Overworld. The Profumo Affair expressed the Overground political cadre mixed with the Twilight World, the Underworld and the Homosexual underground as epitomized by Lord Boothby.

The Homosexual underground was especially nasty while intimately involved with the Underworld of the Krays. The homosexual influence in England during the Sixties is astounding. This group, that included the politician Tom Driberg who was influential with Mick Jagger was especially enamored with young boys and men, thus guilty of innumerable charges of statutory rape. One of their sources for boys came through Ronnie Kray who had access to boys from orphanages. The boys were checked out used and returned, something like a lending library. On at least one occasion a boy was murdered, dismembered, stuffed into a suitcase and left by the side of the road. There was an attempt to expose Boothby but he was able to publicly defy and chastise the newspaper that tried.

The matter came to a head when Ronnie Kray lost his. By 1966-67 the Krays were riding high, open celebrities, seeming invulnerable to the law. But then, in a fit of exuberance Ronnie thought himself superior to Boothby, threatening him and knocking him about. Unrestrained violence was verboten in Boothby’s homosexual underground. So, in beating Boothby Ronnie signed the Kray’s arrest warrant. The good reason for arresting the Krays was the murder of a villain, Jack McVie, and the means for putting the Twins away for life. The real reason, I maintain, is that when Ronnie used violence on Boothby, the latter realizing his danger turned the police loose on the gangsters to do their job.   As his procurer, Boothby may have been protecting Ronnie.

The Kray reign of terror, then, effectively came to an end in 1968 when they received life sentences. In the meantime they had begun their takeover attempt of the music industry. I am going to concentrate on only one thread, that of Robert Fraser along with Spanish Tony Sanchez.

Groovy Bob through Warhol was into Satanism. He brought Kenneth Anger of LA over. Anger was an all around weirdo and bore L-U-C-I-F-E-R tattooed in big letters on his chest. He fancied he was the Great Satan. As a Satanist he was associated with Anton LaVey of SF. Also a homosexual he made a series of short films that allowed him to bill himself as an underground filmmaker. His films aren’t much but people who like that sort of thing think they’re great.

Through Fraser Anger became familiar with Marianne Faithfull and hence Mick Jagger. Marianne especially became involved in Satanism on the one hand through the Satanic Process Church Of The Final Judgment and on the other being familiar with Satanic literature including ETA Hoffman’s The Devil’s Elixir and Bulgakov’s The Master And Margarita. She apparently really internalized the books.

It should be noted that when the Stones are mentioned here it really means the two principals Jagger and the guitarist Keith Richards. The other three Stones are not involved in the first two’s escapades. Of them, Keith became a total junkie with substantial needs. There to fill those needs was Fraser’s heroin dealer Spanish Tony. The Stones (read: Jagger and Richards) gave him the nickname simply because he was Spanish.

Tony then became Keith’s main supplier and almost a member of the inner circle very closely connected. As mentioned one of the titles of his books was I Was Keith Richards’ Drug Dealer. Now, Keith put Tony on salary at 250 pounds a week or 18,000 pounds a year, an astonishingly high salary for the times. Keith was not known for being that generous. There must have been a reason. Unable to get their hooks into the Beatles I’m speculating that they forced Tony on Keith’s payroll and were taking a substantial cut of Tony’s pay as a way to get a hook into the Stones or at least part of the take. At any rate Tony became for all purposes a sixth stone while appropriating Mick’s castoff Marianne for his own.

At one time Tony set up a club with gang money provided either by Albert Dimes or the Krays called the Vesuvius. As many key music figures attended the opening it may be assumed that whoever was behind Tony thought that it would become a real money maker. It didn’t pan out. Tony didn’t know how to manage it.

Eventually Tony’s presence wore thin while with the Kray’s in prison control became a little looser. Conditions between Keith and Tony became strained and more distant. Keith was living in Switzerland while Tony was in England. Keith still needed his dope so he would have Tony fly to Switzerland with a supply. Tony wasn’t a fool so he was appropriately suspicious of a set up. He didn’t carry himself, he employed a mule for that.

He also feared for his life thinking, probably with good reason that Keith would have him killed. Indeed, Ronnie died before Reggie and Reggie Kray died in 2000. Tony immediately faked his death and disappeared. So far no record of Tony’s death exists. Keith, of course, is going along as merrily as ever. Although, Anita Pallenberg’s recent demise was taken hard by Keith. Our condolences.

-4-

It should be noted that nothing of this is reported by Pearson as he may not have been aware of portions of it while much of it occurred after 1973 when his book was published. When he says that he was learning things he didn’t want to know perhaps the Boothby and Satanist aspects are what he is talking about or perhaps he knew little or nothing about either. At present there is a fair amount of information about the homosexual network that revolved around Boothby while, so far as my researches have taken me there is not much about Robert Fraser and his Satanist influence on the scene. I have seen nothing relating Satanism to the Sgt. Pepper’s cover although there is evidence that McCartney knew something about the Satanist scene as he should have from association with Fraser.

It is important to know that there are degrees of familiarity. For instance, by the late Sixties, Satanism was in the air. I, for instance, heard references but I found it incredible that anyone could believe in the existence of Satan at that late date. I thought it was like an interest in the Rosicrucians or some such. I know people who evidently were familiar with the Satanist Anton LaVey but I had never heard of him to that point while if I had I had no interest and if I had I wouldn’t have had the time or inclination to search further.

Yet, looking back, Satanism was quite strong. As far as I was concerned the strong connection of Jimmy Page, the guitarist for Led Zeppelin was merely rumor. As I was to learn, not so. The Eagles’ Hotel California song refers to La Vey but it made no connection with me although many were in awe of it. When I began to study the Beatles, Stones and British rock scene the Satanism became more real.

While one may think that it was only rock and roll the fact of the matter is that the rock groups and personnel were educating a generation or two and teaching them Satanic ways while disparaging God. Drugs, sex, Satanism, revolutions and rock n’ roll, a neat package. Massive stadium filled concerts. Hypnotic rhythms, the madness of crowds, suggestive lyrics, wild hysteria in the stands, a perfect storm for implanting post hypnotic directions. The Rolling Stones were probably the leaders. The apex of the whole thing, from the English side, occurred in 1966-67. That was really the end or the beginning of the end of Swinging London. As the Stones sang: It’s all over now.

Two key events were the Redlands bust that sent Jagger and Richards to jail, albeit for a very brief time while Groovy Bob Fraser was caught in the snare and did some real time. He never recovered on his release in 1968 so as the lynch pin of that particular musical moment, things fell apart and English R&R entered a new and particularly potent phase that might be called The Sixties Part 2.

In the US where the Fifties style of R&R had been blown away by the British Invasion a recovery began in ’66-’67 that restored some balance while leaving Swinging England behind. The Hippie phase began that triumphed on both sides of the Atlantic.

To return to London. Satanism had taken hold and a man named Donald Cammell decided to make a movie portraying the seedy side of London and R&R and did a bang up job of it. He chose as his lead actor Mick Jagger and some of the Stones entourage. Marianne Faithfull was slated to play the female lead but she contracted pregnancy and was replaced by Keith’s girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg.

Donald Cammell was a lost soul. His father had been an intimate of the arch Satanist Aleister Crowley and had written a biography of him. Donald Cammell had known Crowley. One might say he was raised on Satanism. At one time a successful portrait painter, he had grown weary of the discipline seeking another side of life out there on the wild side in the degenerate world of Bohemianism.

From painting he edged into movie making. He was something of an auteur playing out his subconscious on the screen and not all so subconscious. He was at the time married to Debra Dixon, a model of some taste. Not much has been written about her, but she seems like a subject of some interest but perhaps few sales.

Cammell’s movie unites the most significant trends of the Sixties. If you have the requisite background knowledge it makes for a better movie. The Sixties had seen a Negro invasion of England mostly from the islands of the West Indies. As was expected there was resentment and resistance to this invasion that was overruled by this what? evangelical religious notion of the brotherhood of man and White guilt for having conquered the world? Who are these devious people who have infiltrated the power centers of the world in such a way that they can negate the will of the majority. Who can force on the majority their Weltanschauung that defies all human nature? It seems to be their will that as the West had conquered all peoples that those peoples will now invade the West and destroy its civilization. Who are they? What are their wellsprings of power? Still, while Negroes kept on coming there was no place for them to live. No Englishman wanted to rent to them.

The problem was solved, in part, by an enterprising Jew whose English name was Peter Rachman. Rachman too had survived the war but was permanently ditso by it although according to his biographer Shirley Green (Rachman: The Slum Landlord Whose Name Became A Byword For Evil) the people who knew him well spoke well of him, but the people who knew him well were sleazy people too. He probably didn’t have much of a notion of how people perceived what he was doing.

He finagled decrepit properties which were well beyond the fixer upper stage of deterioration, well into the tear down stage, of which there appears to have been plethora in the Notting Hill area and rented them piecemeal to the Negroes. As they had little money Rachman would rent out each room of each house, perhaps to two or three tenants, he would rent the toilet as a separate residence. It was amazing how many people he could pack into a falling down house. Much of the rental money came from government subsidization.

The Negro men had no trouble finding White women to cohabit with them, then put out on the streets as prostitutes; in fact the two key women in the Profumo Affair came from this environment while pros Mandy Rice was Rachman’s mistress. The house Cammell used in the film was one of Rachman’s located on Powis Square in Notting Hill.

As a Bohemian Cammell was also interested in crime, as a Kray type criminal is a co-protagonist with the Jagger lead. The actor James Fox was required to immerse himself in the gangster life style for months under the tutelage of David Litvinoff, he who had his mouth widened by Ronnie’s sword. It was a devastating experience that sidelined him from acting for years.

Jagger plays Turner, a rock star whose career has entered the downhill slide. His living in Notting Hill was proof enough of how far downhill he had slid. So, in an amazing but degenerate, Satanic, way Cammell ties the whole period together. The images are accurate portrayals of the ideals of the class on both sides of the Atlantic. While the movie was filmed in 1967, production problems delayed its release until 1970, then heavily edited, even expurgated, by which time its impact was lost.

The second key event was the Redlands bust that took place at Keith’s Redlands house in Sussex. The reporting of this event usually reflects amazement that the police would arrest drug users. Drugs were illegal. Everyone in the US who used marijuana lived in fear of being arrested. The sentences were draconian. Paranoia was one of the most used words of the decade. People got incredibly long sentences for possessing one joint. Murderers were released during the Sixties after serving perhaps only three years put a pot smoker could disappear for decades.

Anyone as high profile as the Rolling Stones who were synonymous with heroin and drug use in general, rather exaggerated or not, ought to have been aware that they were under surveillance. There are murky circumstances surrounding their bust but then there may be murky circumstances surrounding any bust. A couple of people are sitting smoking on a rock in the middle of a forest when a policeman strolls up? Well, right.

In the case of the Stones’ bust they were in Keith’s isolated house making no disturbance when a couple dozen cops burst in. Yes, somebody must have notified the police. It is not my intention to go into the details of the bust as they are well described in several books. In fact, Simon Wells wrote a 300 pager about it: Butterfly On A Wheel, The Great Rolling Stones Drug Bust. A good demystifying account can be found in Simon Spence’s history of Andrew Oldham’s Immediate Records label in the chapter It’s All Over Now.

What is important for this essay is Mick Jagger’s reaction to the bust.

-5-

The difficulty here is not what happened but the underlying psychology. The world as it existed before WWII had disappeared by war’s end. The generations that spanned WWI and II enduring the extreme economic uncertainties of the thirties had left their mark on those generations. The Generation from 1938 to 1945 that became aware in the fifties knew nothing of what their fathers and mothers experienced while they reacted to the world that existed to their senses, thus there was no gradual transition through generations. The interconnectedness had been cut off cleanly and sharply as the post-war world began.

The old forms, especially musical forms died away while the post-war musical forms gradually shaped into the music of rock and roll. That musuc was alien to the war and pre-war generations, which had stopped evolving under the stresses of memories of the Depression and WWII. Thus, there were not only the normal generational differences but youth was virtually a different species, indeed, the name teenagers first came into use at this time. The older generations did not want to share power with a generation they couldn’t understand and actually despised so the up and coming young were shunned by the older generations who couldn’t understand what the younger generation ‘wanted.’

This was made clear to us when Jagger fresh from jail after the bust was summoned to a meeting, delivered by helicopter, with the people who were basically persecuting him and demanded that Jagger tell them, the older generation, exactly and specifically what his generation wanted so they could give it and understand what was going on so the conflict could be ended. Of course, Jagger was no spokesman for the generation, he was just a singer in a rock and roll band. I’m sure he hadn’t a clue about what was puzzling them while he obviously had no answers.

My understanding of it was that the generation didn’t want anything out of the ordinary, we just wanted to live our lives in the manner we chose. There wasn’t anything to understand.

The world as presented to the generation was just different than the pre-war and war that the older generations were trying to replicate in this different world. While they had their Depression of which we knew nothing, we were growing up in the shadow of Hiroshima. The A-bomb and instant annihilation was an ever present threat. So they mocked Jagger for not being the spokesman of the generation and derogatively dismissed him. While he arrived stylishly on a helicopter they now showed him the back door to exit and find his own way home.   It really was enough to piss Jagger off especially as he had just gotten out of jail.

Now, Jagger and the generation had become aware about 1954-55, after a childhood of desperation and deprivation. Having endured that they were faced with their eighteenth and nineteenth years in the enforced servitude of the armed forces, putting their lives on the line. That was a bleak way to begin life. Who needed it?

Perhaps the more sensitive turned inward into the world of music, sex and drugs and, more importantly, revolution. When, in the movie The Wild Ones, the actor Marlon Brando was asked what he was revolting against, he replied, Whaddya got? While that line got a laugh it was probably the truest answer Brando’s character could give. We wanted a way out but we couldn’t find the door.

When the National Service ended in 1960 the generation was freed from an odious obligation. Jagger and Richards were freed from that servitude. They joined the band that Brian Jones was forming. It appears that Jagger was the only member who was political and he was Communist/Socialist. He attended the London School of Economics, the LSE, a Communist college while the band was developing in 1963. There is an anomaly in Jagger’s behavior at this time that needs explaining.

David Bailey, the Vogue fashion photographer, was also a revolutionist, I’m not aware of his politics otherwise, or, at least a spectacular hell raiser. In 1962 Anthony Burgess published his novel, A Clockwork Orange. The book was made into the movie of the same name in 1971. The book sold well but the movie was a real game changer. It is perhaps the most Satanic movie ever made and if not most, right up there in the top tier. The 1971 movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick was pure evil.

I have read the book but I found it dull and sentimental. It may be said, I didn’t get it. The wild boys did, David Bailey did. He, in conjunction with Jagger bought the movie rights from Burgess. Further, Bailey had a plan to make a movie. He went to New York, perhaps to shop the book around and raise money but ended up selling the rights to the artist Andy Warhol, hell raiser deluxe. Andy was just getting into making his special vision of movies.

Bailey took Jagger along. Where Jagger got the money to buy in isn’t clear. And why Bailey chose Jagger to join in is mysterious too. It is true that at the time Bailey was dating the model Jean Shrimpton and Jagger was dating her sister Chrissie but Bailey was very successful and worldly while Jagger was a college student and a fledgling unknown singer in an amateurish rock and roll band. One wonders what Bailey saw in Jagger that turned out to be justified. Perhaps there is something involved in the London School of Economics that we don’t know about.

At any rate, unless Jagger had funds that we don’t know about, Bailey paid Jagger’s way to NYC for whatever reasons we don’t know about where the duo sold the rights to A Clockwork Orange to Andy Warhol. All three, Bailey, Jagger and Warhol become fairly close the rest of their lives until Andy died for real in 1987.

Warhol did make a movie said to be based on the book but you couldn’t tell it by watching the movie. The rights eventually ended up in Kubrick’s hands who made the commercial film. Bailey and Jagger returned to England. At any rate Jagger had connected solidly with Warhol and that would payoff when the Stones arrived in the US in 1964.

Upon Jagger’s return to England, the career of the Rolling Stones began. The first period was from 1963 to 1966 at which time according to Keith he and Mick and run out steam, completely exhausted. A short three years before neither Jagger nor Richards had written a song; by 1966 after a spectacular series of hits they had written themselves out, not unlike Dylan whose first phase also ended in ’66. Thus, as the First Sixties ended the Beatles, Stones and Dylan, the three most important artists of the First Sixties and, indeed, perpetually from then on, were in disarray. All three had to reinvent themselves just as the establishment of Satanism took place. What a coincidence, hey?

Still, for Jagger and Richards ’66 and ’67 would be transformative years, the transformation made urgent their arrest for possession of drugs. By 1966 the Stones as a group and Jagger and Richards specifically were thought to be heavily into drugs. They may or may not have been but if so it as mainly LSD. LSD was only made illegal in 1966 so that in 1967 it was kind of edgy in my opinion to prosecute for it as any hippie used pre-1967 may not have known it had been made illegal.

The drug charges were extremely flimsy. Jagger, for instance, was convicted on the basis of having four tabs of prescription amphetamines. Amphetamines also had been legal over the counter until 1964 when retail sales were stopped but prescriptions were still legal so Jagger’s defense was still valid. Perhaps that is what so enraged him, the charge was not only trumped up but invalid.

Richard’s charge also was very questionable. He was charged with keeping a house for pot smoking. Absurd on the face of it, although he and his friends did smoke marijuana. But, there is justification for both to believe that they were singled out as high profile examples.

The effect on Jagger’s psyche was devastating. Depending on how serious his Satanic investigations were before his arrest he definitely turned Satanic after.   Marianne Faithfull herself was deeply into Satanism bringing such texts as Hoffman’s The Devil’s Elixir and Bulgakov’s The Master And Margarita to his attention. The devil’s brew began working on his mind. The first manifestation was the disc Their Satanic Majesties Request in which Jagger sings in the title song: Let me introduce myself… and the introduction was to Satan. At that point, then, Jagger was beginning to assume his role as the Great Satan. He opposed himself to God on the one hand and to the British government on the other as British passports began with Her Britannic Majesty…Requests….

As this mood or fantasy was developing Donald Cammell the movie maker showed up to offer Jagger his role in Cammell’s movie Performance which began filming in July of 1968. This film role was to have an even more devastating role on Jagger’s psyche as it defined his character. Marianne who was close to Jagger at that time said that he began as one person and came out another and never left the role again.

Indeed, the notion of being Satan fermented in his mind probably accentuated by the Satanist Kenneth Anger with whom Jagger collaborated in Anger’s film projects into 1972. Having finished filming Performance Jagger concluded he too could make a film expressing his own anger. That film was made at the end of ’68 titled Rock And Roll Circus. British intelligence was nicknamed The Circus so once again Jagger voiced his resentment of the government.

The film is an alright Rock and Roll film while as a first effort is not all that bad. As with all Rock and Roll films music is front and center. The invited audience are all dressed in yellow and orange Munchkin outfits for some reason, colorful enough. The message of the film is saved for last as the band plays Sympathy For The Devil. During a long instrumental Jagger gets down on his knees and grovels about with what, I suppose, is meant to be a Satanic leer; then he slowly pulls off his shirt, standing up to reveal a tattoo, or inking I hope, on his chest spelling out L-U-C-I-F-E-R identical to the tattoo on Kenneth Anger’s chest. Thus, one is led to believe, the metamorphosis is complete and Jagger has become Satan. One toke over the line.

Then in 1969 Jagger collaborated with Anger in his short film, Invocation To My Demon Brother. The movie represents a Black Mass in which Jagger is credited with a part, or appearance, but I couldn’t pick him out. He did however perform what purports to be a sound track on the synthesizer, one atonal riff repeated throughout the eleven minute film.

Then, to cap the period, on December 6th, 1969 came the Altamont disaster for Jagger and the Stones. The concert was ill conceived and poorly executed. The choice of location was abominable. The Altamont Pass from the Bay Area into California’s Great Valley in December is cold and very windy, strong breezes. The so-called race track they performed on was just a big barren field, a kind of natural bowl. The track had last served as a Demolition Derby so a few old wrecked hulks were strewn across it. A very unpleasant place to sit for a few hours waiting for a concert. Put anybody in a bad mood.

This was not 1965 when some fresh faced kids were trying out marijuana it was now almost 1970 and the audience was battle hardened have been blowing their minds out for at least five years and they looked it; a fairly depressing scene. Of course the Hell’s Angel Motorcycle Club was providing security. These guys were some of the most objectionable people in the Bay Area. But don’t say I said it.

So, in this scene from a frigid hell Mick Jagger in the heights of his Satanic glory, dressed as God only knows what, pranced on stage and launched into Sympathy For The Devil. The scene should have scripted by Charles Manson. There was a killing? What else would you expect?

True, there had been changes of sites each spiraling downward but then events reach their natural levels, don’t they? The Sixties had hit rock bottom and then they were no more. Where was there to go from there?

Fresh troops were arriving. Leading the Satanic corps was Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. Mick and the Stones who were having management problems with the equally Satanic Allen Klein changed over to the more gentlemanly Prince (no kidding) Rupert Loewenstein who reorganized the group’s concert methods and put them on the road with stadium concerts to make money as Klein had confiscated their intellectual properties to all the pre-1970 material.

Continuing with Clockwork Orange themes Mick put on some of the raunchiest shows ever seen, not only stretching the envelope but making a new much larger one. Corruption of youth was Mick’s business. But that’s another story; this one ends here.

5 Responses to “A Review: John Pearson’s The Profession Of Violence”

  1. dizzydezy Says:

    Wow! That is a lot of information. It took me quite some time to get through it because I had to write notes and make some cross references.
    What is your source that Epstein was with the Kray’s the evening prior to his death? He is such an interesting character in this story, not much is really known about him. I’d like to find out more.
    There is also the seltaeB scandal with Epstein, a topic for an upcoming article of mine soon.
    It seems to me (simply conjecture of course) that the mindset and the underworld activities taking place at this time (i.e. Call boys and underage prostitution rings) set the stage for the evolution of the industry. With the implications of the Profumo Affair and the likes of certain celebrity atrocities such as Jimmy Saville- it is not difficult to imagine a connection which may span across politicians, recording artists and the entertainment industry as a whole. Especially if you consider that often times the abused become abusers themselves. An exponentially growing “industry” if you will… as atrocious as that may be, certainly a definite possibility.
    Good work!! I’m sure I return to it again for future reference.

    • reprindle Says:

      I know, Diz. When I proofread it I realized that I had little more than an outline so I’ll have to rewrite it extended out to 30 or 40 K words. Thanks for hanging in there.

  2. reprindle Says:

    Reply continued. I’ll have to check on the source for Epstein and the Kray’s, can’t remember right off which book it came from. Actually Epstein is difficult to find material. He has a couple biographies but the writer’s either pussy foot around or don’t know where to look. Having been in the record business I have some idea of what things mean and how record guy’s minds function.

    Other than your essay I don’t know much about the Profumo Affair but Rachman got sucked into it through Rice-Davies. Profumo is a knotty little problem that still needs work. The homosexual question also needs exploring; an astonishing number of homosexuals are involved.

    Anyway more of an outline although I am getting a good response on my blogging sites. I await your seltaeB article. Slug away, the bottom to this hasn’t been found yet.

  3. Wide World Says:

    1) Epstein was aware that the Beatles would be bigger than Elvis and frequently was laughed out of London record company offices for claiming this along with another rejection for finding the Beatles a record contract. So he knew from the very beginning how big they would become.
    2) You miss the early 60s interaction of Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol, Yoko was considered then a talentless wanna be walking psychiatric case who ripped off emerging avante garde artists and thus was banned from Wahol’s studio before she left for London to hunt for a big fish, John Lennon, to sponsor her. she was also (and still) into satanism and pulled John down with her. However, it seems that her husband Tony Cox steered her down Satan’s road from the beginning.
    3) tony cox’s friend Dan Richter worked with Stanley Kubrick on Space Odyssey 2001 and it was Dan who let Tony/Yoko/Kyoko stay with him when they came to London.
    4) does satanism go hand in hand with mind control programming?

  4. reprindle Says:

    WW: Thanks for reading and commenting. My goals were fairly well defined and of course I couldn’t include everything. If Epstein told the labels that the Beatles were going to be bigger than Elvis whether he meant in England alone and not the US the execs were not out of line in having a good laugh at such a seemingly preposterous claim. Epstein could not possibly have been including the US and then the world.

    The Beatles developed a good stage presence in Hamburg that stood them in good stead but the cause of Beatlemania is beyond me. Perhaps the English just needed a good release and the Beatles fit the bill. They did become as big as Elvis so it is a moot point but their impact was much less than Elvis,
    I maintain.

    Yoko was not only a walking psychiatric case but Tony Cox rescued her from an insane asylum. That she achieved world wide fame for her performance art with Lennon is as improbable as anything. She was a problem child though in the early sixties. Once again not pertinent to my intent.

    I wasn’t aware of Cos’s relationship, distant as it may have been, to Kubrick but interesting. I haven’t read of Cox’s starting out as a Satanist but if so he did a major turnabout after he and Yoko split up.

    One would have to define mind control programming. An infant is subject to indoctrination and conditioning from birth. Education itself is a form of mind control although benign and constructive. It has recently turned Satanic in attempting to teach four and five year olds perverted sexual practices that they have no means of understanding and little of discrimination.

    Satanism, as we know it, took form in the nineteenth century and has now become perhaps the dominant Western religion. People may reject the notion of God but they accept Satan. With the rise of Communism the West’s reaction to it Satanism or the Satanic approach became dominant. Mind control became an issue with the rise of Public Relations in the US and the practices developed were incorporated into MK-Ultra to which you probably refer. In that sense mind control is Satanic.

    Once again, good to have you as a reader.

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